Saudi Arabia opens munitions factory built by Rheinmetall Denel Munition


Saudi Arabia’s Military Industries Corporation has opened a munitions factory built in conjunction with Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) in a ceremony attended by President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma travelled to Saudi Arabia for a one day visit on 27 March, according to the Saudi Press Agency, which reported that he opened the factory together with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The new facility in Al-Kharj (77 km south of Riyadh) is able to produce 60, 81 and 120 mm mortars, 105 and 155 mm artillery shells and aircraft bombs weighing from 500 to 2 000 lb. The facility is expected to produce 300 shells or 600 mortar rounds a day, according to Mohamed Al-Mady, head of Saudi Military Industries Corporation. He added that the facility would be managed by 130 engineers and operators.

The Saudi Press Agency said that the factory is made up of nine buildings, each covering a different area of production, such as processing, packaging, assembly and filling, destructive testing and nondestructive testing, heat and surface treatments.

The facility operates under Saudi Arabia’s Military Industries Corporation but was built with the assistance of South Africa-based Rheinmetall Denel Munition, which was paid approximately $240 million for its services. Al-Mady said the factory will be operating in alliance with RDM.

RDM manufactures a wide variety of medium and large calibre ammunition, from 40 mm grenades to 155 mm artillery rounds as well as mortars, bombs, 76/62 mm shells, mine breaching systems and rocket and missile subsystems. For example, RDM provided the rocket motor for the FZ-90 rocket and offers rocket fuse, warhead and motor capabilities. RDM also builds two to three ammunition filling plants a year for export. The company has established ammunition filling plants in three dozen different countries over the last three decades.